MICA instructor Hyeseung Marriage-Song paints portraits in the realist tradition: While her full body of work tours like a striking and diverse all-ages yearbook offering of pretty, not-so-pretty, and downright quirky members of the human race, she clearly spies a unique beauty in each subject’s face. Each emits a glorious glow, whether symmetry’s on her side or no. The painter prof’s fastidious and fluent attention to detail delivers, not just reality, but an exciting interpretation of inner light.
Born in Korea in 1978, Hyeseung (pronounced Hey-soong), 33, relocated to Houston at age two, with her first generation immigrant parents. The eldest of three siblings — her brother and sister born in the U.S. — Hyeseung maintained impressive focus from an early age.
“My mother tells me I was pretty weirdly focused when I was three and four years old and would sit at my Fisher-Price desk for hours and draw people and characters,” Hyeseung says. “My mother was my first art teacher; though she was trained as a nurse, [she] was a fair draftswoman thanks to the well-rounded education she got in Korea, and she taught me how to go beyond stick figures. The first things I counted, apparently, were the five fingers on each hand of my squiggly princesses.”